NEBBI– Farmers in Nebbi district have started counting loses in this first planting season due to the dry spell that has stunted the growth of crops.
They said the affected crops are: maize, beans and groundnuts which have dried up forcing farmers to abandon their fields and others to uproot the withered crops as they wait for rain.
One of the farmers in Oweko parish, Ndhew Sub County in Nebbi district Owachi Ronald said, he planted his maize in the first season hoping to reap in this lockdown but failed to yield due to the dry spell that affected his production.
He adds that in this lockdown, people are committed to farming, but they are being frustrated by the current harsh dry spell which has affected the productivity of their crops.
“I invested heavily all my resources and hoped to reap from farming in this lockdown but my efforts seem not to give me any profits as planned due to the dry spell which has hindered our efforts,” Owachi said.
The LC III Ndhew Sub County Hon Okwai Bosco says, farmers should expect hunger next year since, the first season was wasted due to dry spell which affected the yields of their crops.
Okwai added that farmers should keep close watch on the changing weather pattern by preparing their fields to plant short term crops like sorghum, beans and maize to meet the challenges being faced by farmers.
Okwai said farmers are unable to buy themselves seeds now with the current hardship in this lockdown period which needs government interventions because the livelihood of farmers are affected.
“We should prepare ourselves for hunger next year since our crops are heavily damaged with the current dry spell which have revenged on our farmers,” Okwai said.
However, Piwa Joyce, the Nebbi District Production Officer advised farmers to replant crops damaged by the dry spell to mitigate the prospects of hunger.
She added that at the moment it’s quite hard for the district to respond to the challenges affecting farmers in this dry spell which has hit the district because it largely depends on Operational Wealth Creation (OWC) to supply seeds to farmers which didn’t happen this year.
“The district doesn’t have capacity to supply farmers with seeds but only gives seeds to some few selected farmers in the sub counties for demonstration plots in the district,” Piwa said.
Urombi Emmanuel, the Chairperson Nebbi district has attributed the need for an irrigation scheme for farmers in order to boost their farming but as head of the district on political side, their hands are tied because of the limited resource envelopes to equip farmers with irrigation scheme.
“Our farmers need to calculate weather patterns before they inject a lot of money in agriculture to avoid the unforeseen weather challenges which are more likely to result into serious droughts and also destabilization of livelihoods of farmers at the grass root level”, Urombi said.
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